First Hit: It was not very interesting, was poorly scripted and had little to offer.
Director Darren Aronofsky probably had something to say by making this film, but I can only come up with snide thoughts like: The battle between control and chaos is difficult. One needs to ask their partner before inviting people into the house. People like Him (Javier Bardem), need to have their ego stroked. Well-known artists, Him, would sacrifice his family for outside admiration. People will give the artists they admire leeway to act poorly. Life is a never-ending sequence of the same stuff over and over again. I could go on.
One troubling aspect about this film was that Darren had some great actors, but Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) seemed like she was saying lines and occasionally her actions were more engaging. Him seemed to take on the poor struggling artist role rather mediocrely. Together they were a shipwreck ready to happen throughout the entire film.
The story is that Mother has rebuilt a very large house because it burned down in a fire. It was Him’s family home. She’s doing this because she loves Him and the poems that he’s written in the past. However, he’s had writer's block since the fire burned down his family’s home.
One day, Man (Ed Harris), a chain smoking doctor, shows up at their home thinking it is a place where he can rent a room while doing research. Without asking Mother, Him tells Man that he can stay there as long as he wants. Feeling pushed aside, Mother reluctantly goes along with this.
Then the rest of Man’s family shows up. Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) is pushy and is very passive aggressive while Mother waits on her. All the while Him likes their company. Woman tells Mother that she needs to have a baby to really know what life is about.
During an argument, Him and Mother have make-up sex and she gets pregnant. Also, Woman and Man’s boys come to the house and start a big fight and one of the boys gets killed.
With Mother being pregnant and the killing of the boy, Him writes another poem that causes a national stir and now thousands of people come to the house to both grieve the dead boy and the celebration of this new poem. This makes Mother angry as she tries to kick everyone out because they are wrecking the house she built.
Then the film heads into over weird with rituals and demons and other stuff. Why? I cannot tell you why even if I knew. It is beyond my understanding of the point and purpose of this story and film.
Lawrence gives a uneven performance. It was both difficult and easy to understand her love and devotion based on whatever scene she was in. Bardem had an easier role of being egocentric and caring about himself more than the people for which he professed his love. Harris was OK as the initial interloper. Pfeiffer was interesting because her sarcasm and disdain towards Mother was well done. Aronofsky wrote a confusing and unclear script that came off as being overindulgent towards bizarre behavior. If the audience doesn’t get the point, why do a film like this? As director, the point was lost in the script, and therefore the acting wasn’t reflective of a cohesive story leaving the audience lost.
Overall: This was self-indulgence at its finest and a waste of my time.